Village Day is always something special – a day for the whole village to enjoy. The theme is ‘A Day at the Races’ and you can interpret that as you like but it is a good excuse to dress up for the occasion! It could be the Olympics, it could be Ascot or Epsom, it could be school sports or on the river. All we can hope is that the weather is again kind to us as children and adults assemble in the closed off High Street ready for the parade to the Old Barn Hall.
At 11 o’clock the parade will be led by the vintage car and the lively sounds of the Magna Jazz Band and this year by a brewer’s dray pulled by shire horses. The High Street and Church Road will be lined with spectators waving, cheering and clapping with colourful banners and flags and singing, shouting and dancing backed by the sound of drums. There will be children from playschools, schools and other groups forming a seemingly endless tail. As the music of the jazz band disappears into the Old Barn Hall field the music will be taken up by the sounds of the Pandamonium Steel Pans.
The Old Barn Hall field will be packed with nearly fifty stalls with streamers, balloons, flowers, displays and other amusements while crowds will line up for the barbecue, ice creams and drinks. In the hall there will yet be more exhibitions with the kitchens providing food and drinks. Events in the arena include displays of dancing, martial arts, a tug of war and a big attraction – belly dancing. The contributions from schools are always magnificent.
Village Day is only the start of the week and is followed by Open Gardens Day on Sunday with owners letting us peek into their gardens and allotments. The Grange Centre will also be open. A feature of this year is that several schools are also opening gardens the children have worked on in the year. It is always intriguing to view private gardens, some small, others far larger to view ideas of landscaping, design and planting. Small buses are available to ferry people round the gardens. In the evening an Open Air Service is to be held at St Nicolas Church.
On Monday afternoon Bookham Afternoon Bridge Club will be holding a lunch before getting down to the serious business of playing Bridge. In the evening the Mole Valley Silver Band will give a rousing performance in the Old Barn Hall.
Tuesday is Quiz Night where teams of eight people battle through sets of questions of all kinds. Thursday sees the Bridge Supper arranged by Bookham & District U3A – a relaxed evening of Bridge after an enjoyable supper.
Friday night is Jazz Night and Brian White and his Magna Jazz Band continue the tradition by providing the marvellous sound and atmosphere in a crowded hall. It is for an enthusiastic audience to enter into the spirit of the evening with spontaneous dancing to the sounds of clarinet, cornet, trombone, piano, bass and drums and featuring the umbrella parade.
On Saturday Bookham Craft Club and Bookham Crafters hold their open morning with hand crafted articles for sale and offering teas, coffee and raffle.
It should all make a truly memorable Village Day and Village Week and we hope everybody in the village joins in the marvellous spirit of the occasion.
The full programme for Village Day and Village Week is a centre page pull-out in the Bookhams Bulletin magazine for you to keep.